Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 Relit Awards Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2012 Relit Awards have been announced celebrating the best in independent publishing. The Relits are all about "Ideas - not money". Every year Newfoundland's Kenneth J. Harvey recognizes fine writing from Canada's independent publishers. In the novel category are:

Easy to Like (M) by Edward Riche "...a savagely funny satire about "C"-list screenwriter and wannabe vintner Elliot Johnson. Disillusioned by his floundering Los Angeles existence — his writing career is at a low, his struggling vineyard is being investigated by the Feds, and his son, a former child star, is in prison — Elliot does what any self-respecting wino would do: escape to France. But fate has other things in store. Stranded in Canada by an expired passport, he is encouraged to remain there due to his bit part in a growing Hollywood scandal. Deciding that Toronto may just be the perfect city in which to lay low, Elliot kills time by bluffing his way to the top of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation." publisher

Monoceros (M) by Suzette Mayr "Bullied at school and in love with a boy, Ginger, who wants to end their relationship because of his girlfriend, 17-year-old gay high school student Patrick Furey can't see a way out of his situation, and commits suicide. Mayr's novel examines the repercussions of his death on his Catholic school classmates and administrators. ... Mayr (Venous Hum) has crafted a thoughtful tale examining how the death of one person can have ripple effects even on people who didn't know the deceased. Effectively portraying a range of ages, emotions, genders, and motivations, Mayr quickly engages readers." Publishers Weekly

Dirty Feet (M) by Edem Awumey
(translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler)
"Dirty Feet is a remarkable, inventive,and darkly compelling novel that tells the story of a man’s search for the mysterious, nomadic father who abandoned him years earlier. As a small child, Askia was forced, along with his family, to wander the African desert as if under a curse. First driven from their home by drought and hunger, they were then kept from the villages they passed through by the fear and suspicion of others, who did not want to see their "dirty feet" stay for too long. ... A brutal, indelibly powerful look at the harrowing, often violent lives of those who are condemned to wander." publisher

Break Me (M) by Tom Reynolds "A Peeping Tom, a child’s disappearance, a fire, a startling decision and a truth learned too late: these are the elements that make up Break Me, an amusing and sinister little book. The story is superbly constructed and the narration is addictive." publisher

Prick (M) by Ashley Little (out of print, try Interlibrary loan) "PRICK is narrated by twenty-one year old Anthony “Ant” Young: an artist, an asshole, an anti-hero. After fleeing a violent home life in Calgary, Ant moves to Victoria, BC, where he earns his tattooing apprenticeship under Hank the Tank, a founding member of the powerful Lucifer’s Choice motorcycle gang. Under Hank’s guidance, Ant learns the craft and business of tattoo, but he is also exposed to a vicious and frightening criminal underworld."  publisher

Flowers of Spit (M) by Cathering Mavrikakis 
(Translated from the French by Nathanael)
"Flowers of Spit is a corrosive narrative that surrounds the inflamed character of Flore Forget. Written as a long soliloquy, this novel is a delirious howl, an expectoration in the face of the world, a dolorous dive into the depths of identity. Is it possible to emancipate oneself from one's tragedies, from the the individuals that have touched our lives and have died? Is it possible for flowers to bloom from cinders and spit? Filled with a vitriolic rage that teeters between despair and redemption, this work propels us into the memories inherent to scorched flesh. It is an implacable story, one propelled by a raw, breathless style that strikes us where it hurts the most." publisher

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